Jagdeep Raina at GRICE BENCH, Los Angeles
Shades of gray embedded in the artist’s source photographs fall away in his starkly contrasting compositions, limned in dense thickets of charcoal. He locates a chromatic punctum in the figural embodiment of Nehru, and the pathos of this subject’s recurring presence pulsates viscerally throughout the exhibition. In the cinematically composed From dawn till dusk, we watched helplessly as you drove away, leaving us nothing more than these bitter tastes and memories, 2015, a large midcentury-style sedan slices through the foreground of a scene outside the West Second Avenue temple. In lieu of a noirish villain, the Indian leader, crudely articulated in cherry hues, gazes outward from the back seat. Two piercing black dots and a cartoonish, parabolic frown mark his visage while a shock of flames emanates from his head.
The nimble interplay of materials within these works rewards close inspection. Inconspicuously collaged paper cutouts echo fastidiously rendered throngs of people and towering architectural structures that stand like thinly stacked facades. In all their nuanced optics, they issue a call to consider the potential for photographic documents to continually resurface, resignify, and enable new narrative slippages among contested political histories.
To view the full article please visit ArtForum.
For more information about Jagdeep Raina please contact the gallery: